The Russian Raptor

Gee, does this aircraft look, um, familiar?

Russia Unveils Its First Stealth Fighter

Russia on Tuesday unveiled its first stealth fighter to the public, lifting the curtain on a secret project designed to flood the market with cheaper versions of better-known US jets.

The Sukhoi Tu-50, being developed jointly by Russia and India, made its maiden flight at a Far East airbase in January 2010 and was rolled out for public viewing at the MAKS international airshow outside Moscow.

Two of the sleek silver prototypes are due to perform air stunts Wednesday under the watchful eye of Russia’s powerful prime minister, Vladimir Putin, in a show of Russian military confidence in the much-delayed project.

“The T-50 jet will provide the backbone not only of the Russian air force but also that of India,” said Mikhail Pogosyan, president of United Aircraft Corporation, the state aviation holding company.

See also:
T-50 Fighter to Be Unveiled at MAKS
Russian Next Generation Stealth Fighter Unveiled at Air Show
Russian stealth and euro efficiency at MAKS airshow
Russia Set To Show Off Its First Stealth Fighter
Introducing The T-50: The Russian Stealth Fighter That Will Be Unveiled This Week
Indo-Russia T-50 stealth fighter to make its international debut
Russia sees orders for fifth generation jet from 2015
Russia set to show off its first stealth fighter
What does Russia’s fighter debut mean for the U.S.?
MAKS 2011
MAKS Airshow
Sukhoi Company (JSC)
Sukhoi PAK FA

So, Russia and India are going to mass produce the Sukhoi Tu-50 and “flood the market”. Meanwhile, we/ve stopped producing the F-22 Raptor and have funneled all or resources into the technologically inferior, ridiculously expensive, cost overruns from hell, F-35 Lightning II program, a program that’s now grounded while still only in the testing phase because it sucks so bad!

/what’s wrong with this picture?

Advertisements

The New Laptop Is Here!

The laptop itself is awesome! Wrangling the software into submission is another awful matter entirely, Windows 7 64 bit does not play very nice with my familiar, well broken in, just the way I like it, optimized XP world.

/this is going to be a long, hard slog, loud, intense, and sustained swearing is expected to ensue, hopefully I’ll be able to physically restrain myself from striking or otherwise damaging expensive computer hardware

Somali Pirates Collect Four More Americans

Judging by recent events, it’s pretty obvious that Operation Ocean Shield isn’t working very well.

Somali pirates seize American yacht crew off Oman

Four Americans sailing on a yacht off the coast of Oman have been taken hostage by Somali pirates, an international maritime watchdog says.

The S/V Quest, owned by a retired couple, was hijacked 240 nautical miles (275 miles) off Oman on Friday afternoon, Ecoterra told BBC News.

It is believed the yacht was en route from India to Oman.

While pirates usually attack cargo ships, they have hijacked a number of yachts in recent years.

Ecoterra said the capture of the S/V Quest had been reported by both its sources and by Nato’s anti-piracy operation, Ocean Shield. Nato could not be reached immediately for comment.

Jean and Scott Adam, the yacht’s owners, have been sailing it around the world since 2002, according to their website.

See also:
Somali pirates seize yacht with four Americans onboard, military says
Pirates hijack yacht with Americans on board
Yachting race organizers name Americans aboard yacht hijacked by Somali pirates
Pirates hijack 4 Americans; US mulls responses
Somali Pirates Seize a Yacht, the Quest, with Four Americans on Board
Somali pirates hijack yacht and capture Americans sailing in the Indian Ocean
Somali pirates seize American yacht crew off Oman
Yacht with 4 Americans Seized by Pirates in Somalia
Pirates seize four Americans from yacht off Oman
American sailors kidnapped by Somali pirates
Local Couple Taken Hostage by Somali Pirates: Reports
US assessing options in hijacking of couple by Somali pirates
US considers yacht hijack response
Pirates bringing hijacked US yacht to Somali lair
Pirates: Yacht to make landfall in Somalia

When are we going to get serious about this pirate threat? It’s not enough to react after they strike. In fact, in most cases, a ransom is paid, which only encourages more pirate activity. We need to strike at these pirates preemptively, lay waste to their home port bases and scuttle their entire pirate fleet. In other words, we need to change the pirates’ risk calculus so that the thought of engaging in pirate activity is equivalent to the thought of touching a hot stove.

/and if the combined naval resources of the civilized world aren’t able or willing to eliminate this piracy scourge, Western governments should start issuing letters of marque and let the private sector take a shot at the problem

100 Too Many

How awesome is it that a country with a weak, unstable central government, teetering on the brink of falling into the hands of radical Islamists, has 100 nuclear warheads, and keeps building more?

At 100, Pak ahead in N-arsenal

How many nuclear weapons does Pakistan need to feel secure? Not enough. Islamabad has doubled its nuclear weapons to more than 100 in the last few years, overtaking India’s tally in the process, and is adding more bombs to its arsenal, according to new estimates by proliferation gurus.

Four years ago, Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal was estimated to contain between 30 to 60 weapons, about the same as India’s. Since then, the country has rapidly accelerated its program. Current estimates by western nuclear pundits cited in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists and other journals put the number between 100 and 110 — and growing.

See also:
Pakistan doubles its nuclear arsenal
Pakistani Nuke Stockpile Tops 100, Experts Say
Pakistan has 100 nuclear weapons, doubled its arsenal: Post
Report Says Pakistan’s Nuclear Arsenal Tops 100
At 110, Pak N-stock shoots past India’s: Report
‘Rapidly expanding’ Pak arsenal now possesses over 100 deployed nuke weapons: Expert
Pak has 110 N-weapons to edge ahead of India: US Report
Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal tops 100: report
Pakistan Doubles Its Nuclear Arsenal
Don’t worry, India’s deterrence is robust: Pokhran II scientist

Do we really need this headache too? These yahoos can’t even control a significant chunk of their own territory, what the [expletive deleted] do they need 100 nuclear warheads for? God help us all if even one of these warheads falls into the hands of the Taliban or al Qaeda with the proper arming codes. And if the Islamists eventually manage to topple the unpopular, current secular government, they’ll probably have all the arming codes.

/I’d be extremely surprised if the United States didn’t have contingency plans to seize or spike these warheads if the Pakistani government were to fall to Islamic terrorists, however, every additional warhead they produce makes that task that much more difficult

Christmas Fail

India’s space program gets a lump of coal in their Christmas stocking.

Indian Rocket Explodes Seconds After Liftoff

An Indian space rocket carrying an advanced communications satellite exploded in smoke and fire just seconds after lifting off from a launch pad at the Sriharikota space center in Andhra Pradesh state, about 50 miles from the city of Chennai.

The Christmas Day launch of the satellite had originally been planned for December 20, but was delayed after engineers discovered a leak in one of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle’s (GSLV) engines, the United News of India reported.

The GSLV was carrying a GSAT-5P communication satellite into orbit when it strayed from its planned flight path, and was deliberately blown up by mission control 47 seconds after liftoff, according to state-owned Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Chairman K. Radhakrishnan.

Radhakrishnan said the GSLV developed an error shortly after takeoff, and then lost command, resulting in a higher angle in the flight.

“That caused a higher stress, breaking up the vehicle,” he said.

The GSLV exploded “at an altitude of 4.9 miles (8 km) and the debris have fallen in deep sea,” Radhakrishnan said.

See also:
Indian space rocket explodes soon after launchIndian rocket explodes after take-off
Indian rocket explodes on launch
Satellite-Carrying Indian Rocket Explodes After Launch
Unmanned Indian rocket explodes
GSAT-5P, GSLV-F06 were not insured
ISRO teams analysing data to pinpoint GSLV failure
Heavier payload caused Indian rocket’s failure: Expert
Disaster leaves Isro with 1 cryo engine
GSLV failures fuel disappointment and anxiety
GSLV failure sparks safety fears for 2016 manned space flight

Apparently, this isn’t the first time this particular type of rocket has failed.

/India might want to rethink their plans to use these rockets for manned flights

It’s Extra Special Patch Tuesday!

Yep, this gaping hole in Windows is so bad that Microsoft couldn’t even wait until next week’s regularly scheduled Patch Tuesday to try and fix it.

Microsoft issues emergency security patch for million dollar Windows flaw

Microsoft today rushed out an emergency patch for Windows Vista and Windows 7 PCs just eight days before its next Patch Tuesday.

The software giant issues security patches on the second Tuesday of each month, and only rarely issues so-called out-of-band patches. The company has never issued an emergency patch this close to Patch Tuesday, says Jason Miller, data and security team leader at patch management firm, Shavlik Technologies.

“Coming out with this patch this close to a Patch Tuesday is severe,” says Miller. “People should be paying attention to this one, and patch as soon as possible.”

Importantly, the emergency patch does nothing for hundreds of millions of PCs running Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows Server 2000, since Microsoft last month stopped issuing security updates for those older versions of its flagship operating system. The company continues to urge Windows XP SP2 users, in particular, to upgrade to Windows XP SP3, which will continue to get security updates, or to buy new Windows 7 PCs.

Update: To be clear, this patch will work on Windows XP SP3, Windows Server 2003 SP2; Windows Vista, Window Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2. It will not work on Windows XP SP2 or Windows Server 2000.

At the Black Hat and Def Con security conferences in Las Vegas last week, attendees referred to this Windows flaw as a $1 million vulnerability. Savvy hackers can tweak a basic component of all versions of Windows, called LNK. This is the simple coding that enables shortcut program icons to appear on your desktop.

No one in the legit world knew the LNK flaw existed until mid July, when security blogger Brian Krebs began reporting on a sophisticated worm spreading via USB thumb drives. That worm, known has Stuxnet, took advantage of the newly-discovered flaw to run a malicious program designed specifically to breach Siemens SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) software systems. Over a period of months the attackers had infected Siemens SCADA controls in power plants and factories in Iran, Indonesia, India and some Middle East nations, according to antivirus firm Symantec.

See also:
Microsoft Security Bulletin MS10-046 – Critical
Microsoft ships rush patch for Windows shortcut bug
Microsoft issues emergency patch for Windows shortcut link vulnerability
Microsoft Patches Windows Shell Vulnerability
Microsoft’s New Patch for Windows Shortcut Exploit
Emergency patch closes LNK hole in Windows
Microsoft sticks to plan, denies emergency patch for XP SP2

The new emergency patch is here, the new emergency patch is here!

/so, if your Windows didn’t automatically update, you’d better do it now

That [Expletive Deleted] Ain’t Right

Send plumbers, pipes, and money.

India has more cell phones than toilets: UN

India has 545 million working cell phones thanks to its booming emerging economy, a number expected to reach 1 billion by 2015, the UN University said on Wednesday.

That number exceeds the number of people who have access to toilet or sanitation facilities – only about 366 million, or 31 percent of the 1-billion strong population.

India’s number of cell phone users soared in just 10 years, from 0.35 per 100 persons in 2000 to 45 per 100 persons this year.

Worldwide, an estimated 1.1 billion people of the world population of 6.7 billion people have no access to toilet facilities. The UN Millennium Development Goals call for access to toilets by all people by 2025,

The UN University, a Canada-based think tank, made a study on cell phone users in developing countries to demonstrate that some countries may lag behind in achieving the goal of providing toilets and sanitation for all the world population by 2025.

“It is a tragic irony to think that in India, a country now wealthy enough that roughly half of the people own phones, half cannot afford the basic necessity and dignity of a toilet,” said Zafar Adeel, a director at the UN University.

See also:
Greater Access to Cell Phones than Toilets in India
India has more cell phones than toilets: UN report
Toilets and mobiles
INDIA – India has more mobiles than toilets: UN report
People in India Have More Access to a Cell Phone than a Toilet
India has more mobiles than toilets: UN report
A nation with too few toilets
Too Many Cell Phones, Too Few Toilets in India
Hello, where can i find a toilet?
India has more Cell Phones than Toilets, says UN Study

Seven out of ten Indians don’t have access to a toilet? That’s just grim.

/makes you really wonder about Pakistan, already considered a cesspool of terrorism